Search My Heart, God

Job 41-42; Acts 16:22-40

People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

To reduce food waste, a supermarket chain in Singapore sells slightly blemished fruits and vegetables at lower prices. In one year, this initiative saved more than 850 tons (778,000 kg) of produce that previously would’ve been thrown out for not meeting aesthetic standards. Shoppers soon learned that outward appearances—scars and quirky shapes—don’t affect flavor and nutritional value. What’s on the outside doesn’t always determine what’s on the inside.

The prophet Samuel learned a similar lesson when he was sent by God to anoint the next king of Israel (1 Samuel 16:1). When he saw Eliab, the firstborn son of Jesse, Samuel thought he was the chosen one. But God said: “Do not consider his appearance or his height . . . . People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (v. 7). Out of Jesse’s eight sons, God chose the youngest, David—who was tending his father’s sheep (v. 11)—to be the next king.

God is more concerned with our hearts than with outward credentials—the school we attended, what we earn, or how much we volunteer. Jesus taught His disciples to focus on purifying their hearts of selfish and evil thoughts because “what comes out of a person is what defiles them” (Mark 7:20). Just as Samuel learned not to consider outward appearances, may we, with God’s help, examine our hearts—our thoughts and intentions—in all that we do.

By: Jasmine Goh

Reflect & Pray

When have you done a “good thing” with the wrong motive? How can you ensure that what’s in your heart is pure?

Dear God, please help me to do what honors You.